Do you still have an actual hard copy printed newspaper delivered to your home? If you do, you are in a declining population of how news is delivered not only with those who deliver it but also with those who receive actual printed news. The PewResearchCenter reports that “as of early 2016, just two-in-ten U.S. adults often get news from print newspapers. This has fallen from 27% in 2013.”
“The newspaper workforce has shrunk by about 20,000 positions, or 39%, in the last 20 years. And three newspaper companies – E.W. Scripps, Journal Communications, and Gannett – are now one, reflecting a trend toward consolidation in the industry. Nevertheless, most of the newspaper websites studied here experienced growth in traffic, and mobile traffic in particular. Overall, however, the industry continues to shrink, with Editor & Publisher’s DataBook listing 126 fewer daily papers in 2014 than in 2004.” Newspapers: Fact Sheet, by Michael Barthel, State of the News Media 2016, Journalism & Media, PewResearchCenter
You may think from the above that print newspapers are on the way out replaced by digital news but think again. The same source writes, “Survey data reinforce the heavy reliance on the print product. Similar to what we found in our analysis of news habits in three U.S. metropolitan areas, national readership data from Nielsen Scarborough’s 2015 Newspaper Penetration Report indicate that 51% of those who consume a newspaper read it exclusively in print, while just 5% read it on desktop only, 5% read it on mobile only and 7% read it on both mobile and desktop. There has been some shift over time, from 62% print-only readership in 2011 and 59% in 2012 – but print is still the main form for these audiences.” So, you remember when the computer was supposed to reduce print copies, as you know, that certainly isn’t the case and neither is it with print news. While the number of readers still purchasing printed news has declined, the number is still substantial enough to keep printing newspapers, however, your choices are declining as newspaper businesses merge or go out of business.
Ever since it was invented, news delivery by radio has been popular. The same source says that 25% of Americans still get their news via radio. Maybe you are among this group or use radio in conjunction with the others.
TV news is still the most popular method of receiving news which the PewResearchCenter reports 57% of Americans prefer to watch their news on television. News watchers overwhelmingly prefer television, while readers prefer the web. This same source shows demographic numbers of younger readers avoiding TV news in favor of our next subject.
Online Digital News
“Compared with print, nearly twice as many adults (38%) often get news online, either from news websites/apps (28%), on social media (18%) or both. (81% of adults ever get news on these online platforms.)” PewResearchCenter There is a dizzying array of online digital news services. The actual number may be in the hundreds. So what are the most popular? PewResearchCenter uses Nielsen’s data narrowing it down to the top 25 in an article published in May 2011. Digital Trends lists 22 different services used in Android and iOS apps published in April 2017. Alexa, an Amazon Company, lists the top 50 news web sites. eBiz lists the top 15. If you notice there are different results from all these sources but we can narrow it down to a subject that concerns those who read online digital news:
“If our site takes a long time to load, it doesn’t matter how great our journalism’s, some people will leave the page before they see what’s there.” The Washington Post which is posted on the AMP Project.
The Guardian (according to eBiz is listed as the number 10 most popular news source) writes about this subject, “We have run extensive trials on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News to assess how they fit with our editorial and commercial objectives. Having evaluated these trials, we have decided to stop publishing in those formats on both platforms. Our primary objective is to bring audiences to the trusted environment of the Guardian to support building deeper relationships with our readers, and growing membership and contributions to fund our world-class journalism.”The Guardian has opted to use Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Those three services mentioned above, Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News and Accelerated Mobile Pages are the three main news services battling it out for the younger mobile device audience who want news loaded as fast as possible. Ars Technica explains in a detailed article what this battle is all about, which basically boils down to advertising, billing it as faster downloading of a news article. Facebook, Apple and Google are the three in this battle.
The main benefit of getting your news online is that the choices are many and unlike newspaper print the list seems to be growing, not declining.